The 2019 Gordon Conference on Molecular Mechanisms in Evolution will assemble experts in molecular, medical and evolutionary biology to present the latest findings and diverse perspectives on the molecular bases of evolutionary change.
Without understanding evolutionary processes we cannot understand the history of life on earth and the mechanisms that produce its unity and diversity. As Dobzhansky first pointed out, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution". But evolution is also at the heart of human health, where it is responsible for the evolution of virulence, the emergence of drug resistance, and the initiation and the progression of cancer. At a societal level, climate change, habitat destruction, and altered agricultural practices are imposing evolutionary pressures that will shape the future of life and biodiversity on earth.
The conference program will cover a wide range of topics including: origins of life, evolution of mutation and recombination rates, stress-inducible genetic variation, non-genetic variation and inheritance, phenotypic noise, evolution of novelty, evolution of complexity, cancer, aging,experimental evolution and evolutionary contingency.
The principal goal of this GRC is to encourage and nurture a community of researchers, spanning several formal disciplines, with a shared interest in the molecular basis of evolutionary change. Evolutionary scientists include ecologists, evolutionary, cellular, and molecular biologists, physicists, applied mathematicians. With such a wide range of disciplines, it is easy to miss important discoveries and the invention of new techniques that lie outside one's own, narrow discipline.
This conference will have an engaging atmosphere for open and creative discussions in order to stimulate collaborations among scientists. As well as invited speakers, we will have 20 short talks chosen from submitted abstracts (primarily postdocs and graduate students rather than lab heads) and poster sessions. The goal of the short talks and posters is to give young scientists and their ideas access to the opinions and suggestions of the more experienced scientists who are invited speakers.